Navigation Links
And then there were 10 -- unexpected diversity in New Zealand kanuka genus Kunzea
Date:8/26/2014

At the stroke of a pen a New Zealand endemic tree has for the last 31 years been incorrectly regarded the same as a group of 'weedy' Australian shrubs and small trees. A New Zealand botanist has completed a 15-year study to reveal some surprises and discover astonishing cryptic diversity behind what was long considered a single tree species. The study was published in the open access journal PhytoKeys.

Known to botanists as Kunzea ericoides, this species was one of the many discoveries made in the north-western South Island of New Zealand by Jules Sbastien Csar Dumont d'Urville during the first voyage of the Astrolabe (1826-1829).

Initially described by French Professor of botany Achille Richard as Leptospermum ericoides, this species and the allied New Zealand endemic Leptospermum sinclairii were merged in 1983 with three other Australian species under the oldest available name (L. ericoides) as a new combination in the related genus Kunzea.

The saying that 'bad taxonomy kills' could not be more true, as the decision to merge the Australian and New Zealand species into the one shared species Kunzea ericoides resulted in absolute mayhem as a range of important New Zealand trees and shrubs were now regarded as identical to their distant Australian relatives all of which are serious agricultural pests known there as Burgan.

The present study draws on data obtained from experimental hybridisations, cytological investigations, modern molecular analyses and ecological studies published elsewhere by the author of this revision Dr Peter J. de Lange. The PhytoKeys treatment by de Lange concludes that Kunzea ericoides is not shared between Australia and New Zealand; confirms the distinctiveness of the narrow-range rhyolite rock endemic K. sinclairii; and elevates another much misunderstood variety to species rank as K. linearis.

De Lange also recognises further seven species new to science. One, Kunzea robusta is actually the most common Kunzea in New Zealand which despite being first recognised as distinct by the missionary botanist William Colenso in the 1840s, was denied formal recognition for some 170 years until now. Aside from Kunzea robusta de Lange recognises two other common new tree species (K. amathicola and K. serotina), and another four narrow-range endemics - K. salterae, K. tenuicaulis, K. toelkenii, and K. triregensis. One of these species, K. tenuicaulis is known only from active geothermal fields.

Aside from the recognition of 10 endemic New Zealand species from what had been regarded as one in 1983, de Lange also reveals that the indigenous inhabitants of New Zealand the Maori already knew of many of these species, which they recognised by names which referred to their growth habit or wood properties.

It is shown that far from being serious agricultural weeds all the New Zealand Kunzea are important keystone species, either forming their own distinct forest types or helping to heal damaged forest. Furthermore the New Zealand Kunzea species provide an important habitat for a wealth of endemic geckos, orchids and fungi a far cry indeed from their past much undeserved 'weed' status.

"This paper is also a brilliant showcase of how useful is the brand new PhytoKeys publishing platform for the advancement of taxonomy. Once published taxonomic treatments of new species and any nomenclatural changes are automatically available in advanced open access, easy to find, and are stored in various data repositories in reusable format. Such wide availability of data helps for mistakes and misunderstanding regarding previous confusions in the taxonomy of a certain species to be avoided in future," comments Prof. Lyubomir Penev, managing director of Pensoft Publishers.


'/>"/>

Contact: Peter J. de Lange
pdelange@doc.govt.nz
Pensoft Publishers
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. New feathered predatory fossil sheds light on dinosaur flight
2. Study finds worlds protected areas not protecting biodiversity, but there is room for hope
3. Wallow Fire study suggests there may be multiple paths to fuel reduction in the WUI
4. Screening for autism: Theres an app for that
5. Is there really cash in your companys trash?
6. Blue eyes and dark skin, thats how the European hunter-gatherer looked
7. The 5 fingers of our feathered friends: New research results on the evolution of bird wings
8. Model virus structure shows why theres no cure for common cold
9. Common bias known as the endowment effect not present in hunter-gatherer societies
10. Theres gold in them thar trees
11. NOAA reports discovery of table coral, Acropora cytherea, off Oahu
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
And then there were 10 -- unexpected diversity in New Zealand kanuka genus Kunzea
(Date:6/22/2016)... Md. , June 22, 2016  The American College ... Trade Show Executive Magazine as one of the ... on May 25-27 at the Bellagio in Las ... on the highest percentage of growth in each of the ... of exhibiting companies and number of attendees. The 2015 ACMG ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... VANCOUVER, British Columbia , June 21, 2016 ... been appointed to the new role of principal ... has been named the director of customer development. ... , NuData,s chief technical officer. The moves reflect ... development teams in response to high customer demand ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... York , June 15, 2016 ... new market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application ... Forecast, 2016 - 2024". According to the report, the  ... 11.60 billion in 2015 and is estimated to ... USD 48.56 billion by 2024.  Increasing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... release of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering ... retention in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their ... agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, ... connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... today announced the launch of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in ... to explore the future of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... Hematology Review, 2016;12(1):22-8 http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 ... , the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew ... escalating cost of cancer care is placing an ... result of expensive biologic therapies. With the patents ...
Breaking Biology Technology: